Monday’s child is fair of face: Where we get our day’s names…

OK, so this isn’t exactly as festive as my last post but I’ve been interested in this for a while and I have the computer all to myself for a while so I thought I would look into it.

We all I know that the days of the week are named after certain Gods and planets and it seems that many cultures around the world have associated the same days, Gods, Goddess’ and planets.

I can’t be bothered to write out a proper article here because there will be a lot of info here, so I’ve basically done a web search and compiled it here.

I hope you find it interesting 🙂

Monday is Moon Day

Monday, evidently gets its name from the Moon, which in turn gets its name from Mani (Old English Mona), the Germanic Moon god. The names in Latin-based languages, Italian name (Lunedi), the Spanish name (Lunes), French name (lundi), and the Romanian name (Luni) come from the Latin name for Moon, luna.

The Russian derivation, eschews the pagan names, is понедельник
(poniediélnik), meaning “after Sunday.” In many Indian Languages, the word for Monday is Somvar, with Soma being the Sanskrit name for the moon. The Japanese word for Monday is getsuyōbi (月曜日) which means “day of the moon.”

Tuesday is Tyr’s Day ( Mars’ Day)

Tuesday comes from Middle English Twisday, from Old English Tiwes dæg, which is named after the Nordic god Tyr, the equivalent of the Roman war god Mars.

In Latin, it is called Martis dies which means “Mars’ Day”. In Romance languages except Portuguese, the word for “Tuesday” is like the Latin name: mardi in French, martes in Spanish, martedì in Italian, dimarts in Catalan, and marţi in Romanian. In India, Tuesday is called “Mangalvar”, for the Vedic planet Mangala or Mars.

Wednesday is Woden’s Day

Wednesday comes from the Old English Wēdnes dæg meaning Wōden’s Day. Wōden is the Old English form of the Proto-Germanic *Wōdanaz just as Óðinn (Odin) is the Norse form. Wednesday — Dies Mercurii to the Romans, with similar names in Latin-derived languages, such as the French Mercredi and the Spanish Miércoles. In English, this became “Woden’s Day”, since the Roman god Mercury was identified with Woden in northern Europe.

Thursday is Thor’s Day

The contemporary name comes from the Old English Þunresdæg, from influence of Old Norse Þorsdagr), meaning “Day of Thunor”, this is a rough Germanic equivalent to the Latin Iovis Dies, “Jupiter’s Day”. Most Germanic and Romance-speaking countries use their languages’ equivalents: German Donnerstag, torsdag in Scandinavia, Italian giovedì, Spanish jueves, French jeudi, Catalan dijous, and Romanian joi. Jupiter represents Thursday with similar names in Latin-derived languages, such as the French Jeudi. In English, this became “Thor’s Day,” since the Roman god Jupiter was identified with Thor in northern Europe.

Friday is Freyja’s Day

Friday comes from the Old English frigedæg, meaning the day of Frige the Anglo-Saxon form of Frigg, a West Germanic translation of Latin dies Veneris, “day (of the planet) Venus.” In most Germanic languages the day is named after Freyja—such as Frīatag in Old High German, Freitag in Modern German, Freyjudagr in Old Norse, Vrijdag in Dutch, Fredag in Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish—but Freyja and Frigg are frequently identified with each other.
In most of the Indian Languages, Friday is Shukravar (or a derived variation of Sukravar), named for Shukra, the Sanskrit name of the planet Venus.

Saturday is Saturn’s Day

Actually Saturday was named quite late on, being named no later than the second century for the planet (Saturn), The planet was named for the Roman god of agriculture Saturn. It has been called dies Saturni (“Saturn’s Day”), through which form it entered into Old English as Sæternesdæg and gradually evolved into the word “Saturday”.
Saturday is the only day of the week in which the English name comes from Roman mythology. The English names of all of the other days of the week come from Germanic mythology. In India, Saturday is Shanivar, based on Shani, the Vedic God manifested in the planet Saturn.

Sunday is Sun’s Day

It is named after Sunne, German goddess of the sun, from which the word sun is also derived.
In most of the Indian Languages, the word for Sunday is Adivar or Ravivar, with Adi (Ah’-Dee) or Ravi being the Sanskrit names for the Sun.


Holy heathen Gävle Goat! Sweden’s giant Yule Goat

That’s right a giant Yule goat! If you don’t believe me, you can watch it on its web-cam:

The Gävle Goat Website

So why does Sweden have a giant Yule goat? Well… It’s because Father Christmas it actually the Odin or Thor…And he used to ride a goat…Which was then sacrificed.

I kid you not. Ha ha, kid, geddit?

Ahem! Anyway…The Gävle Goat (known in Swedish as the Julbocken i Gävle or Gävlebocken) is a giant version of a traditional Swedish Yule Goat figure made of straw that is located at Slottstorget in central Gävle. The Yule Goat is one of the oldest Scandinavian and Northern European Yule traditions. Magically reanimated Goats were connected to the Norse god Thor’s flying chariot drawn by Tanngrisnir (one who has sparse teeth) and Tanngnjóstr (one who grinds his teeth) AKA Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder.

However, the Yule Goat originally the goat that was slaughtered around Yule, possibly a Thor homage, I say this because in Swedish custom that has been known as “Juleoffer” or “Yule Sacrifice”, where young men with their faces grimed would dance and sing. One of the men was dressed up as the Yule Goat, while the others would pretend to slaughter it. During the singing, different slaughter tools was brought in, and the dance ended with the Yule Goat being slaughtered, then it would wake up again magically reanimated just like Thor’s goats, Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder.

Even the word “Yule” comes from a derivation of the word for Odin, the word Yule is said to have come from the Norse word “Jul” or “Yul”, meaning wheel. Odin is known in Norse by the title “Jolnir” which means, “Jul-One.” Even now in contemporary Scandinavian countries they say “God Jul!” for Merry Christmas and is celebrated on Christmas Eve.

Another tradition associated with the Yule Goat was a straw effigy that was made of it, which was then used in the custom of going door-to-door, singing carols and getting fruit, cakes and sweets. Which is similar to the British custom wassailing, this is very similar to the tradition of the Mari Lwyd of Wales. This reanimated creature was supposed to be ugly creature that frightened children, and demanded gifts at Christmas. The 19th century saw importance shift towards becoming the giver of Christmas gifts, in Scandinavia, the men in the family would dress up as the Yule Goat. This tradition would have the goat replaced with the jultomte or julenisse (Santa Claus) at the end of the century, and the tradition of the man-sized goat disappeared. Now the Yule goat is reduced to a decoration.

Ornamental Yule Goats made of straws, used for Yule decoration in Scandinavia.

Mari Lwyd is carried through the streets of the village by a party that stands in front of every house to sing traditional songs. The singing sometimes consists of a rhyme contest (pwnco) between the Mari party and the inhabitants of the house, that challenge each other with verses.

Icelandic manuscript depicting Odin who slayed the frost giant, Ymir.

A folk tale depiction of Father Christmas on riding a goat. Perhaps an evolved version of the Swedish Tomte.

Step Away From The Credit Card! Making My Wand.

OK, so I admit it I was expecting to make my wand and to be hailed as the fantastic craftsman that I know lies dormant with in me… Ha, ha, ha.

Anywho, here is what I need to make your wand:

• Swiss Army knife or a good sharpe knife,
• Sand paper; course then a more fine-grained paper,
• Super Glue,
• My chosen branches,
• Crystals, ribbon etc.

So far things were going well, I collected my willow branch and an extra Dogwood branch for luck. First, I used my Swiss Army knife to cut all the bark off; I had brought the braches in green (before they are dry) so I could begin to straighten them a little. They were already fairy straight so it wasn’t too much hassle for me to steam them straighter, which I did by holding it over a boiling kettle (be careful steam hurts!) and by peering down the shaft so you can see where it needs to be straightened out. Then I gave it a good sanding with course sandpaper and with fine sandpaper, it is very messy so I suggest sanding outside.

With only a few scolds, I was looking at my nice, clean, (quite) straight willow branch; suddenly I was inspired to carve a nice pattern for the handle. La, la, la, I am the most wonderful craftsman, with great patients and a knack for carving wood.
You see the trick is to carve it when it is still green; the wood is softer and makes it easier to carve. I cut V-shaped groves into the wood in various patterns and then sanded down some of the shapes to round the edges off, I believe the style is called Low Relief carving.

I even drilled a whole through the end of the handle so that I could hang it up, la, la, until…
Yep! I broke it!

For a while I was really bummed, so I just put it aside. I would stare at it every now and then, trying to figure out what I could do with a broken wand.

Until, one day I brought a little polished quartz crystal that was the perfect size to go on the of the broken handle. I drilled the end with a little blade from my Swiss Army knife and glued in the crystal, and I think it is lovely! It is like a mini wand! I figured I could use it like a travelling wand.

It’s a cop out but I may as well do something with it as I have already put a lot of time in to it and I am going to finish the other half off as well.

It’s funny actually, how the property of the wood changes over time, originally I thought that the Dogwood branch was a very soft wood compared to the willow and now that it is dry it feels much more dense, the bark has also become thick and tough which is why I haven’t stripped the bark of it… I also like the colour!

So here we are, this is the stage I am at.


Step Away From The Credit Card! Finding My Wand.

 Why is it that whenever you have purposefully set out to find something, it always escapes you? And the second you stop looking, is when you inevitably find it. This was the case for my wand.

We are very lucky in the UK to have an extensive Cycle Network, here in Wales we have an illustrious network, which includes the Taff Trail. The Taff Trail is a popular walking and cycle path that runs for 55 miles between Cardiff Bay and Brecon in Wales, so called because it follows the course of the River Taff.

During my Niece and Nephew’s half term break from school, I had planned a 10mile cycle trip along the Trail from Llandaff to Tongwynlais and then on up to Castell Coch. The Trail is known for meandering through untamed but beautiful landscapes and then later through the Brecon Beacons National Park, the perfect situation to come across fallen trees and branches, I thought.

I am not much of an athlete in fact, you could I was unhealthy. But one of the things I do enjoy is cycling. I have to say that it was a perfect day for it, we had glorious sunshine, lovely company, stimulating views but not one single bloody fallen tree anywhere! (Or at least not one that was accessible.) Wow, the trail is certainly well maintained, I’ll give them that!

Anyhow, we had made to Tongwynlais and so it was on up to Castell Coch. Castell Coch (Red Castle) is a 19th century folly castle built on the remains of a 13th century fortification. The Castle has also been used as a location in many films as it is nestled into the side of a picturesque leafy hillside, a hillside we now had to cycle up. When I say cycle I mean get off your bike and push it up a 40° slope! I don’t know if you have been to Wales but a lot of it is like this, hilly. Lol, more like one big hill but I love it.

We had made it! (I had made it, core blimey!)

What a fantastic journey! I will never forget it, it was beautiful one of those memory-making days you had when you were a kid and I am glad I shared it with my Niece and Nephew. But, I was sill wandless

When we got home, we rinsed off our mud-caked bikes, peeled off all of our mud-caked clothes, left our mud-caked shoes by the front door and trudged rosy faced into the kitchen where we discovered my Mum had laid on a magnificent feast of pizza and pop for us. May the Goddess bless all Mums everywhere!

Later that evening, gorged and feeling considerably more cheerful, I strolled outside with a cup of tea and inspected the garden for further signs of spring (I swear it gets later ever year.) I turned the corner and sitting on the table by the pond was a mass of willow branches, still attached to the top of a small willow tree.

“Mum,” I shouted. “What’s with all these branches?”

“Your father cut down that willow at the bottom of the garden, it was interfering with the shed. Hey, weren’t you after some nice branches for a new wand, you had better take some now before you father puts in the compost bin.”

Thanks again Mum! Now I could pick and choose.

Willow is brilliant stuff you can chop it down carry a bundle of withies across the country and jam the branches into the ground in any patch of earth and they we grow into a new tree. So to say thank you to the willow, I chopped off a nice looking branch and planted into the ground next to, but a little further to the side of the original stump. After all, I wouldn’t want this one to interfere with the shed.

There you have it, the second you stop looking, is when you inevitably find what you are looking for.

Blood Moon.

All eyes to the skies this weekend when we enjoyed the first total lunar eclipse in more than three years.

I found it really awe-inspiring to witness the steady loss of moonlight be replaced by deep orange and red tones was really a wonder of the natural world.

Mind you when there’s one astronomical event I get excited, let alone two! It boosted my energy and workings enormously!

And actually having a cloudless night sky helps, since it is a rarity in Britain this was definitely the best lunar eclipse I’ve ever seen.

I hope you all had some fantastic rituals.


Step Away From The Credit Card! Selecting Your Materials.

I guess this is going to be different for everyone, we all have our individual methodologies for choosing our Magickal supplies, but this is the method that I am going to use. I have never been one of those people that have to have that piece of Obsidian for healing or Sardonyx for creativity, there are certain materials that have come into my life and for one reason or another they feel important to me. Sometimes I am not even sure exactly what each stone is or what type or wood it is that I am using but I know that I am supposed to be using them.

Sometimes, when I am researching philosophy and history for my Pagan studies I get into a very reasoned and rational frame of mind, which is great for academic work and something we should always be aware of when studying. However, this self-imposed frame of mind sometimes leaks over into my Magickal workings. I end up asking myself “should I be doing this? What are my motives?” questions like this are definitely a good thing…sometimes. Often I would end up feeling stifled, I loose the momentum and energy of a situation and that’s not something I want.
So, I am going to flip my rational brain off and let my intuition be my guide. But don’t worry I am keeping my common sense brain on. Lol, yes I have lot of brains! Since I am going to use wood for my wand, I don’t know what kind yet but I want quite a dense wood that is not too soft, so I will keep an eye out for that when I begin my search.

ED: One more thing I wanted to go over here is the use of animal parts in your ritual tools, for example: feathers for decorations and bone for handles. What I mean here is the moral issue of incorporating them.
I am a meat eater so I think that to condemn the killing of would be naïve, it goes on, and you cannot ignore that. Animals are killed for you everyday, why not celebrate this sacrifice by using the rest of the animal? If you are not a meat eater, why not take antique animal parts, such as taxidermined animals in poses and fur coats and give them some dignity and respect by using them. Whatever your views, you will have to make your own mind up but for myself I am not ruling out any animal parts that I find or want to use.

Step Away From The Credit Card! Making Your Ritual Tools.


Hey there folks,

I have been a Pagan now for about five years now, when I first set foot on my path I was so excited about making my own tools and I always had a fantastic sense of achievement and great connection to everyone of them.

As time wore on, I started to explore the vast array of Pagan shops, stalls, and festivals, and online stores, and…Ok I admit it, I have fallen prey to the bling! I have no will power! Oh why do they make it so easy to spend money online?

Traditional wooden wands with gold accents, fancy silver ones with crystals, intricately detailed pewter dragons, hematite wands with fine pentacles along the shaft! There is just so much Pagan bling out there, it just looks so good and I always, always think I need it. I am glad to see that Pagan crafts and craftspeople are doing so well but I can’t help but think that all this commercialism has taken us even further away from the natural landscape that we are trying to reconnect to.

I am determined to get back to that joy and enthusiasm that I felt when I handcrafted my own tools.

So here it goes, I am going to make a wand that is beautiful, practical and powerful. But I am going to put in place some boundaries to curb my capitalist leanings.

1.I must not spend any money.

2.I am not allowed to cut down off any branches, it must be from a fallen tree.

3.It has to be all my own work.

The first rule, no money means no money. Nothing, not one pound.
The second rule, I know myself, I will just getting impatient and cut off a branch to speed up the process, but this is about listening and letting myself be guided. The third rule, this rule is pretty much a given, I want this to be all my own work so that I can have a connection to it and be proud of what I have achieved.

So, here I go!